Quotations about Science
Sources of quotations
Famous quotations of scientists
George Washington Carver –African American botanist and inventor (1863-1943)
Carver invented numerous uses for the peanut and other plants.
"I love to think of nature as an unlimited broadcasting station, through which God speaks to us every hour, if we will only tune in."
Marie Curie – Polish physicist & chemist (1867-1934)
Marie Curie, one of the most famous of all women scientists, was a pioneer in the field of radioactivity.
"All my life through, the new sights of Nature made me rejoice like a child. ... It was like a new world opened to me, ...which I was at last permitted to know in all liberty."
Thomas Alva Edison –American inventor (1847-1931)
Edison established the first industrial research laboratory. He was one of the most prolific inventors of all time, inventing a sound recording device (phonograph), motion pictures, and the first practical incandescent light bulb. He received patents for 1090 inventions.
"I never did anything worth doing by accident, nor did any of my inventions come by accident; they came by work."
"Genius is one per cent inspiration and ninety-nine per cent perspiration."
"I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work."
"To invent, you need a good imagination and a pile of junk."
Albert Einstein – German-American theoretical physicist (1879-1955)
Einstein formulated the special and general theories of relativity and made significant contributions to quantum theory and statistical mechanics.
"The most incomprehensible thing about our universe is that it can be comprehended."
"The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing."
"Imagination is more important than knowledge."
Enrico Fermi – Italian-American physicist (1901-1954)
Fermi developed quantum theory and the first nuclear reactor.
"There are two possible outcomes: If the result confirms the hypothesis, then you've made a measurement. If the result is contrary to the hypothesis, then you've made a discovery."
Galileo Galilei – Italian astronomer (1564-1642)
Galileo was the father of modern astronomy and physics.
"I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect has intended us to forgo their use."
Robert Goddard – American physicist, chemist and engineer (1882-1945)
Goddard was the pioneer of controlled, liquid-fueled rocketry.
"It is difficult to say what is impossible, for the dream of yesterday is the hope of today and the reality of tomorrow."
Edwin Hubble – American astronomer (1889-1953)
Hubble discovered cosmological red-shift and laid the foundation for physical cosmology. He was the first to discover galaxies beyond the Milky Way.
"Equipped with his five senses, man explores the universe around him and calls the adventure Science."
James Prescott Joule – English physicist (1818-1889)
Joule discovered the first law of thermodynamics (conservation of energy) and the relationship of heat to mechanical work.
"It is evident that an acquaintance with natural laws means no less than an acquaintance with the mind of God therein expressed."
Johannes Kepler – German astronomer & mathematician (1571-1630)
Kepler discovered the three laws of planetary motion.
"The diversity of the phenomena of nature is so great, and the treasures hidden in the heavens so rich, precisely in order that the human mind shall never be lacking in fresh nourishment."
Isaac Newton – English physicist, astronomer, theologian (1643-1727)
Newton discovered the universal law of gravitation and laws of motion. He laid the foundations for classical mechanics and the development of calculus.
"I do not know what I may appear to the world, but to myself I seem to have been only a boy playing on the sea-shore, and diverting myself in now and then finding a smoother pebble or a prettier shell than ordinary, whilst the great ocean of truth lay all undiscovered before me."
"If I have ever made any valuable discoveries, it has been owing more to patient attention, than to any other talent."
"If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants."
Louis Pasteur – French biologist & chemist (1822-1895)
Pasteur developed the process of pasteurization, helped establish the germ theory of disease, was a co-founder of bacteriology, and developed new vaccines.
"Science belongs to no one country.”
"In the field of observation, chance favors only the prepared mind."
Nikola Tesla – Serb-American inventor, physicist, and engineer (1856-1943)
Tesla invented polyphase power distribution systems and the AC motor, laying the foundation for the second industrial revolution.
"I do not think there is any thrill that can go through the human heart like that felt by the inventor as he sees some creation of the brain unfolding to success."
Wernher Von Braun – German-American physicist and engineer (1912-1977)
Von Braun was the father of the American space program and chief architect of the Saturn V rocket that took men to the Moon.
"Research is what I'm doing when I don't know what I'm doing."
Addy Pross, biochemist
"In his famous 1944 text "What is Life?" Erwin Schrödinger pointed out how strange living systems appeared to be when viewed from a strictly physical standpoint. All living systems are highly organized and the emergence of these organized systems would seem to contradict the most basic tenets of physics and chemistry, which say that systems tend toward chaos and disorder. What is even more remarkable is that despite dramatic developments in molecular biology in the half century since Schrödinger's remarks, we still don't understand what life is or how it relates to the inanimate world. -Addy Pross"